Senior citizens may retire, but that doesn’t mean they stop working. Many stay busy by volunteering their time. If you head to a polling place on election day, swing by a local food bank, or visit a museum or historical site, there’s a good chance you’ll see folks spending their golden years making a difference. Through volunteering, seniors can contribute to a richer more prosperous future, and many find the experience to be rewarding.
At AgeWell Cincinnati, making a positive impact in the lives of seniors is our primary motivation. Day in and day out, we strive to improve the lives of older adults, and in turn strengthen our community. That is why we encourage senior citizens to volunteer. By giving one’s time to local organizations, schools, soup kitchens, day camps, area living centers and shelters—or anywhere in the community that needs help—seniors can find fulfillment, while making a real and lasting difference for others.
Seniors interested in volunteering can reach out to AgeWell Cincinnati, where we coordinate with numerous organizations across the Cincinnati area—including nonprofits, synagogues, churches, food banks, and more. If you or a loved one wish to give back, there are plenty of opportunities to do so. We’d be happy to work with you to find the right fit. Let’s take a closer look at where older folks can volunteer.
Meal Delivery Programs
Sadly, there are people who don’t have access to adequate food due to finances or mobility, but help is available. Meal delivery programs provide basic resources to folks who, for whatever reason, can’t get out, shop for groceries, or otherwise prepare their own food. These programs often need volunteers who can cook or deliver meals.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, food banks across the country garnered headlines as millions of Americans turned to them for food. Food banks need volunteers who can help distribute food or accept food donations.
Companionship and Mentorship
Seniors are particularly at risk of becoming socially isolated. Social isolation can quickly lead to mental and physical health issues. In addition, children can struggle to access resources and find caring mentors. By offering companionship, seniors can help change lives.
Senior Corps/AmeriCorps Seniors
AmeriCorps is one of the largest organizations to offer chances to volunteer in the United States. AmeriCorps operates under the federal government, and, while many of the opportunities are targeted at young volunteers, the organization can steer seniors toward great volunteering opportunities.
Nature, Animals, & the Environment
Older folks can protect the environment, the natural world, and the animals who live in it by volunteering at state parks, nature preserves, animal protection societies, and zoos.
The Benefits of Volunteering
Nearly half of individuals who are 65 and older volunteer in some capacity, and the experience can be beneficial to everyone who’s involved. Volunteers often create meaningful, lasting friendships with the people they help. And, by putting themselves in a situation where others are relying on them, they elevate their spirits and reduce the risk of social isolation.
Build a Brighter Future
Older adults often care deeply for family members—whether spouses, siblings, children, or grandkids. By addressing social issues and strengthening the fabric of society, senior citizens can not only contribute to a better future, they can help instill kindness in younger generations. if you or a loved one want to give back, there is no better time than right now.